Articles by Confluence Investment Management
Mark KellerChief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer
As Chief Investment Officer, Mark Keller provides overall leadership and oversees all of Confluence’s investment strategies and investment operations, including equity strategies (value and international), asset allocation and alternative investments. In addition to his active involvement in the investment decisions of the firm, Mark has been instrumental in product development. Mark has over 40 years of investment experience, with a focus on value-oriented equity analysis and management.
Prior to joining Confluence, Mark was a senior vice president of A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. and of Gallatin Asset Management, Inc., and was a member of the Board of Directors of both companies. From 1994 to May 2008, he was Chief Investment Officer of Gallatin Asset Management, Inc., and its predecessor organization, A.G. Edwards Asset Management, the investment management arm of A.G. Edwards, Inc. Mark and his team were responsible for the management of over $10 billion of assets across various equity, asset allocation and fixed income strategies.
From 1999 to 2008, Mark was Chairman of the A.G. Edwards Investment Strategy Committee, which set investment policy and established asset allocation models for the entire organization. He was a founding member of this body and served on it for over 20 years. Mark began his career with A.G. Edwards in 1978, serving as an equity analyst for the firm’s Securities Research Department from 1979 to 1994. During his last five years in Securities Research, Mark was equity strategist and manager of the firm’s Focus List.
Mark earned his Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College (Illinois) and is a CFA charter holder.
Brian HansenPresident and Chief Operating Officer
Brian Hansen is responsible for the day-to-day operations at Confluence and is a member of Confluence’s Board of Directors, which sets the strategic direction of the firm.
Prior to founding Confluence, Brian served as a managing director in the Financial Institutions & Real Estate investment banking practice at A.G. Edwards & Sons. While at A.G. Edwards, he provided financial advisory and capital markets services to companies operating in the asset management sector, commercial real estate companies including real estate investment trusts, and other real estate-oriented asset managers. Additionally, he assisted numerous asset managers with the development of innovative investment fund products in the real estate, energy and specialty finance sectors. Before joining A.G. Edwards, Brian served as a manager in Arthur Andersen LLP’s Audit & Business Advisory practice.
Brian currently serves on the Board of Directors of Franklin Street Properties Corp. (NYSE MKT: FSP), a Boston-based Real Estate Investment Trust, and the Investment Committee of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Brian earned his Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and graduated magna cum laude from DePaul University with a Bachelor of Science in commerce. Brian is a Certified Public Accountant.
William O’GradyChief Market Strategist
As Chief Market Strategist, Bill O’Grady performs market, economic and geopolitical research for the firm, and is a member of the investment committees for the Asset Allocation strategies and International Equity strategies. Bill also co-manages Confluence’s Global Hard Assets portfolio, which focuses on tangible commodities investments. These strategies all rely on his top-down evaluations of the geopolitical environment, fundamental macroeconomic trends and technical patterns in the target markets. Additionally, Bill writes numerous reports for the firm, which can be found under Research & News, in which he provides insights on various economic and geopolitical topics and discusses market effects.
Prior to joining Confluence, Bill served as Vice President and Chief Investment Strategist for Wachovia Securities. As Chief Investment Strategist, he provided short-term asset allocation advice for Wachovia’s Advisory Services Group. Prior to this, Bill served in a variety of positions in his 19-year tenure at A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., including Chief Global Investment Strategist, Assistant Director of Market Analysis and Manager of Futures Research, and was also a member of the A.G. Edwards Investment Strategy Committee.
In all, Bill has more than 30 years of experience following the energy, foreign exchange and futures markets and is frequently quoted by such national media outlets as The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News. Bill earned a master’s degree in economics from St. Louis University and has undergraduate degrees in history and public administration from Avila College.
Gregory EllstonChief Investment Officer - Asset Allocation
As Chief Investment Officer-Asset Allocation, Greg Ellston leads the Asset Allocation Investment Committee, which is responsible for setting and implementing policy for the firm’s cyclical ETF strategies.
Prior to joining Confluence, Greg was Managing Director of Asset Allocation and Portfolio Construction for the Investment Management Group at TIAA-CREF for nine years. In this role, he initiated and constructed a discretionary management platform that grew to over $21 billion during his tenure. His group also provided oversight for another $20 billion in assets for a number of affiliates.
Before TIAA-CREF, Greg worked at A.G. Edwards as a vice president within the Gallatin Asset Management division, where he directed Manager Analysis and served as co-manager on the Cyclical Asset Allocation Portfolios. Prior to A.G. Edwards, Greg held roles at Rauscher Pierce Refsnes, Inc. and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company. Over the course of his 30 years of experience, Greg has been involved in building five fee-based platforms at three different firms, including separate accounts, open-end mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. He was involved in the first closed-end fund research effort and the first research group incorporating dedicated investment manager analysts.
Greg has served on the Securities Industry Association’s Investment Company Committee and has been a member of Morningstar’s Institutional Advisory Council. Greg earned his BBA from the University of Mississippi and his MBA from the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.